The Weekly Dairy Report: November milk production holds up well but auction prices fall again and mycoplasma bovis spreads across both islands

As the year draws to a close, the weather moves to a fluctuating phase with now some rain to mix with the very hot days, and some areas have had sharp heavy falls with thunder.

The dryland pastures have changed to golden colours, and irrigators struggle to replace soil moisture losses in the heat, but last week’s of rain in Canterbury did boost summer and winter brassica seedlings.

The fine weather has allowed the more mature saved pasture to be made into hay, a month earlier than normal, but most regions are reporting their silage stocks are behind last year.

Advisers are urging managers to do a thorough check of their stock water systems for leaks before summer proper, as peak animal demand will test even those with plenty of storage.

Much interest will be taken in this week’s dairy auction as the market seems to be at a crossroads. Buyers are having to decide how much the dry conditions will affect NZ’s supply, or will increasing global production allow prices to ease further.

Another fall was the result overnight from the last global event before Christmas, and powder prices are now at yearly lows, and even the fats are  well back on the highs of a couple of months ago.

Farmers will be uncomfortable with the recent milk price trends, although sales of the yearly production and forward contracts already undertaken, will mask the forecast figures from much of the present market conditions.

The nations milk flow figures for November were surprisingly up (4.2%) on the same month last year even as the dry took affect, and this reflects positively on farm managers skill on managing to keep pasture quality high, during this difficult season.

The mycoplasma bovis outbreak took a turn for the worse last week, with further outbreaks announced out of South Canterbury and into Southland, Mid Canterbury, and even across the strait and into Hawkes Bay.

It appears all had links with the host farms, but some are questioning the efficiency of the NAIT system, or how accurately farmers followed this procedure.

The new Minster for MPI threatened to close Cook strait for cattle movements, and asks officials to look into more transparency, to allow neighbours to take precautions of cattle contact from the infected farms.

The level of concern amongst farmers associated with the ever increasing impact of this disease was seen by the large numbers attending meetings about mycoplasma bovis, with the Southland venue unable to fit all those who came.

The Big Sky Dairy operation in Central Otago has been sold by Harvard University, and ownership returns to New Zealand hands with a Waimate man investing heavily in this big venture.

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6 Comments

https://www.nzx.com/announcements/312240
So how will Fonterra react? Possibility of PKE free and environmentally certified (Lead with pride thingy with a ECAN tick) milk via state of the art plant vs 40 plus year old dunger plant ( I delivered milk from there when at Lincoln ) producing perceived enviromentally degrading product.
Popcorn and beers for this one.

Local markets are important these days

Approx 75% of Synlait suppliers are not 'Lead with Pride Certified'. Approx 25% are. Fonterra has their 'Trusted Goodness' initiative.
Synlait are supposed to have been supplying Goodman Fielder with their South Island Fresh milk for a few years now so it will be interesting to see if they are still doing this. Fonterra is reportedly taking some of Synlait's product left over after processing, so there may be a closer working relationship between the two than people realise. ;-)

As Andrewj said though, local markets are important. Will be interesting to see if Fonterra goes in to A2 production to counter some of this.

Won't be long now and ALL of our food will be sold to us from foreign owners. Would not touch it with a barge pole, as I don't for anything Silver Fern Farms, anything under the Goodman Fielder label. I can't avoid it altogether but they are two outstanding examples of our stupidity where it all goes.

The vet told them unless the Ministry for Primary Industries were able to find and cull all the infected stock immediately, it was likely the virus would be tough work to eradicate, Hamilton said.

"Her instant comment was 'you'll never stop it'."

The vet told Hamilton she did not think the country would be able to stop the disease because it was so hard to detect.

https://i.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/100160291/winton-dairy-farmer...

Environment court takes action over MacKenzie district, also moratorium on high country tenure review

https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2017/12/27/71481/mackenzie-farming-plans-rest...